564th Plenary session of the Committee, with the following guests: Jean-Marie Paugam, Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Janusz Wojciechowski, Commissioner for Agriculture and Padmashree Gehl Sampath, Berkman Klein Fellow, Harvard University.
This preparatory meeting took place ahead of the joint meetings with the Vietnamese counterparts scheduled for the second week of November. It also gave the EU DAG the opportunity to receive an update from DG Trade on the implementation of the FTA as well as a timely update on TSD-related issues and implementation.
The members of the Domestic Advisory Group (DAG) of the EU - composed of representatives of employers' organisations, trade unions and various interest groups - exchanged views on matters related to trade and sustainable development, following up on the joint meetings that took place last January with their counterparts under the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). A discussion on these matters took place with the Commission's DG Trade. With the ILO (International Labour Organization) Japan office, they discussed the implementation of commitments to the ILO core conventions, and they received information from DG ENV (European Commission – Directorate-General Environment) on a project on Rethinking Plastics.
The 11th meeting of the EU Domestic Advisory Group under the EU-Ukraine DCFTA will take place via a videoconference on 18 October 2021.
Sustainable finance aims at supporting the delivery on the objectives of the European Green Deal by channelling private investment into companies and projects that support the transition to a climate-neutral, climate-resilient, resource-efficient and just economy. The challenges this brings about should be addressed in a joint effort by the financial sector, businesses, regulatory authorities and citizens. The Industry sector will face major challenges, and be affected by recent and upcoming measures adopted at EU level.
COVID-19 has affected all aspects of economic and social life and its impact on democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law will certainly be long-lasting.
In order to reshape the European economy and in line with the objectives stated by the European Commission for a more sustainable, greener and digitalised economy, investments must support environmental goals and remove obstacles to corporate dividend policymaking and payments. Among many other factors, the debt-equity bias in the corporate tax systems affects both the leverage of firms and corporate governance. The EESC welcomes the recent public consultation on a new initiative to mitigate the debt-equity bias in corporate taxation launched by the European Commission and shares the Commission's view that companies should contribute to the achievement of a greener, sustainable and digitalised economy.
In the process of rapid transformation of the economy and businesses, digitalisation has taken on a key strategic role, to the point of becoming pervasive across all sectors of activity, and affecting the entire cycle of the product and service value chain, involving both large companies and small and micro enterprises. The consequences for the world of work, in terms of new opportunities and new challenges, are significant as regards both their nature and the speed of change.
Energy poverty is high at the EESC's agenda as more Europeans may struggle to afford access to essential energy, particularly with rising energy costs.
The European Commission published on 14th July 2021 a proposal for reviewing the EU Directive on Energy Efficiency, aimed at further stimulating EU efforts to promote energy efficiency and achieve energy savings in the fight against climate change. The proposal forms part of the Fit for 55 package.
The aim of the hearing is to exchange views with experts from public and private sector on the review of the Energy Efficiency Directive put forward by the European Commission. The event also serves as a source of inspiration for the preparation of the EESC opinion on the Review of the Energy Efficiency Directive.